Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Baking Flavors and Extracts 101

Cooking articlesSometimes using a flavor extract or flavor concentrate is easier and yields a tastier result than adding the actual ingredient itself in a recipe. Cherry flavor might be preferable to using chopped cherries in some breads or cakes to better disperse the flavor and achieve a uniform texture, for example.
Experienced bakers and new cooks alike may sometimes be confused about when to use a baking extract versus a concentrated baking flavor. Let’s take a look at the differences.
Flavor concentrates usually have stronger flavor than extracts. Because their base is gum acacia, flavor concentrates can have a cloudier, more opaque appearance.
For this reason, extracts (which have an alcohol base) are best used whenever you want to keep the clarity of the result intact — such as in clear beverages or dairy products.
Flavors and extracts become less potent when used in high heat applications.
Because extracts are set in an alcohol base, they evaporate easily and are less heat stable than flavor concentrates when exposed to high heat or prolonged cooking.
Otherwise extracts are comparable in strength to flavor concentrates. They're at their most potent when they are used with a high alkaline ingredient like salt.
Extracts dissolve into water-based applications, but separation may occur when extracts are added to an oil base.
You’ll need to experiment to achieve the perfect strength for flavoring your recipes, if the recipe doesn’t specify exact amounts. Many concentrated flavors can be added by desired amounts to beverages, batters, ice cream, and other dishes

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